It was a weaker field than usual at the Honda Classic, one of the most difficult non-major events of the PGA Tour season, but the fans in south Florida were nearly treated to a ridiculously intriguing playoff between two of the biggest names in the sport: reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year Brooks Koepka – a man who is also the reigning champ of the U.S. Open AND the PGA Championship, and the absurdly popular Rickie Fowler, a recent Tour winner who ranks 9th in the world rankings.
Unfortunately for the fans, and TV networks, David smashed the two Goliaths and ended the playoff dream on the 18th green.
This time, David was little-known Keith Mitchell, a 27-year-old Chattanooga, Tennessee native who came into the week ranked 162nd in the world. Despite three missed cuts and a 73rd place finish in his past four starts, Mitchell was able to find his best stuff at the notoriously tough PGA National Champions Course, shooting a 3-under 67 to claim his first PGA Tour victory.
Even if his victory was not the most anticipated outcome when a plethora of great contenders were in position down the stretch, it was undeniably an impressive win for Mitchell. He had to re-compose himself after carding bogeys on his first two Sunday holes, and even more impressively, Mitchell, one of the worst putters on Tour, sunk a clutch 15-footer with enormous pressure on 18 to seal the deal.
At 9-under par for the week, Mitchell clipped Koepka and Fowler by one stroke, and former major winner Lucas Glover and a scorching-hot Ryan Palmer by two. Also in the mix, until late, was 56-year-old PGA Tour Hall of Famer Vijay Singh, who played in the final pairing and was looking to become the oldest winner in Tour history.